I often get asked why I make my art on saddle leather as opposed to on paper or canvas, and while it is a simple question, the answer is a bit more complicated. For fifteen years, I studied various techniques under professional artists; drawing, painting, oils, inks. After my experience working in the fashion industry (and experiencing the endless cycle of producing new things only to have them be reduced to sale prices and then thrown out to make way for a new round of the next season's “latest thing”), I became frustrated. There was no art.
I think of my art as akin to tattooing one's skin. It is permanent, everlasting, cannot be erased, and genuine. For me, using paper or canvas is not daring enough (as that could easily be thrown away); I like the metaphor of a tattoo and the courage it takes, to contemplate my art.